World No 18 Hubert Hurkacz produced an inspired performance to end Roger Federer’s quest for a ninth Wimbledon title and landmark 21st Grand Slam crown with a straight-sets victory on Centre Court.
In front of a sell-out crowd on the storied arena Federer has presided over since his first title in 2003, Hurkacz excelled firing down 36 winners and make just 12 unforced errors in a 6-3 7-6 6-0 victory – the biggest triumph of his young career.
The denouement on Federer’s defeat came in a barely believable final set as he was broken three times to lose a set to love at Wimbledon for the first time in 22 visits as he crashed out in just one hour and 48 minutes.
An error-strewn Federer performance, that saw him beaten in straight sets at the All-England Club for the first time since 2002 against Mario Ancic, saw him broken 10 times in total and will cast doubt about his future with his 40th birthday looming large next month.
But for Hurkacz, playing in a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in his career against Federer’s 53rd and 18th at Wimbledon alone, the title dream remains alive after dismantling his illustrious opponent and childhood idol.
Federer has more Grand Slam titles than Hurkacz has Grand Slam appearances, but the 24-year-old Pole, playing in his first major quarter-final, was undaunted by the legend stood on the opposite side of the arena as he produced a fearless display to run out a comfortable winner.
Hurkacz will face either Matteo Berrettini or Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last four, while Federer can only look on as Novak Djokovic now stands just two wins away from joining him and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam titles after his routine win over Martin Fucsovics earlier in the day.